Malnutrition Awareness Week 2023 takes place this week!

IrSPEN is delighted to be joining forces with INDI to support international Malnutrition Awareness Week 2023 which will take place between 6th – 10th November. Please get involved with the campaign to increase understanding of the risks and signs of malnutrition in patients with illnesses, especially those who are also older.

National Survey of Malnutrition 2023 – 9th November to 8th December

Please join IrSPEN and INDI in undertaking the National Malnutrition Survey on a day between 9th November and 8th December, whether you work in a hospital or in the community. You have 4 weeks to collect and input the survey data, although we ask that you collect the data from any given ward on ‘one day only’ to avoid double counting

We are asking for your help to collect data on malnutrition risk in as many adult patients in your institution as possible.  The results will give us vital information on the scale of malnutrition in Ireland and how it has changed in the last decade.

To make sure that the data collection provides a representative sample of the patient population, please make sure to provide data for everyone in a given ward that has been admitted, but just make a note of whether the patient has been admitted in the last 3 days (72 hours) or not, as this information is requested for each patient when you input the patient data into the portal. 

Important notes: 

9th November is nominated data collection date BUT you may decide to nominate an alternative date for data collection in the four weeks from 9th November to the 8th December, as we will leave the portal open until then to ensure maximum participation.

You may also collect data from individual wards on separate days within this 4 week period, provide you only submit data for those admitted to the hospital and not from any ward that has already been surveyed (to avoid double counting)

Please note that we are asking dietitians to provide survey data of all patients recently admitted on a ward, not their own caseloads only.  This is because we are keen to establish the prevalence of malnutrition within a given care setting, not the prevalence of malnutrition amongst patients referred to the dietitian.

If you cannot survey all wards, please submit survey data for whichever wards you can, with the ward type clearly on the input sheet.

Please find further information on what is involved and the forms for both Hospitals and Residential Care Settings at the links below:

National Malnutrition Survey Hospital Patient Data Form Residential Care Home Data Form Find your Hospital Reference Number

The campaign message for patients and the public is ‘malnutrition worsens disease’

The campaign focus is to make sure that the public realise the dangers of malnutrition for those who are ill, and the impact it will have on how they respond to medical treatments, unless it is picked up and treated early.

Although nutritional issues are often seen as the business of dietitians, we want to get across the message that malnutrition should be on everyone’s radar within the healthcare team. It is always better to prevent patients becoming malnourished rather than waiting until it is obvious and advanced, so in malnutrition week, we are keen to explain malnutrition risks and signs to everyone, including those in the community including family members, carers and of course, anyone involved in looking after older people or those with chronic illnesses.

Downloadable resources:

In association with Nutricia and INDI, a range of materials have been developed to support dietitians and health professionals across the country create awareness in their workplaces, and these can be downloaded here.   The posters and information booklets available include:   

Malnutrition Awareness Poster for Patients Carers

Malnutrition Information Poster – HOSPITAL HCPs

Malnutrition Information Poster – COMMUNITY HCPs

Malnutrition Information for Patients Carers

Share messages on social media:  

During MAW2023, we want to share our messages far and wide.

We encourage you to join the conversation on social media, and to join webinars that will run today, (Nutrition and Cancer, see below) and another on nutrition in renal disease later this week.

We would also encourage you to link into our neighbour BAPEN’s malnutrition week for more great information, and #ESPENMAW23 who are kindly making their great resources available to us to share.

We are particularly delighted to join with INDI in making malnutrition awareness week a success in Ireland.

Please use the hashtag #IRSPENMAW23 in your posts so that we can engage.